My New Man Cave and Wargaming Storeroom

After many years of sitting in the kitchen of our flat to paint, I now have a room all to myself. It isn’t big enough to wargame in, but it is big enough to store my kit and to paint in. My work colleagues, who get glimpses of it on Skype, call it the “Man Cave”.

How to fill up five bedrooms in four days

We have moved from a over stuffed two bed flat + garage to a five bed house on three levels. Given the amount of stuff we have, we managed to fill the new place instantly, to the considerable surprise of the moving guys.

My wife claimed the loft bedroom, with on-suite, for us. My wife also chose the small sunny room as her office. The girls got the two big bedrooms on the first floor. Currently one as playroom and the other as a shared bedroom.

That left the cold, smallest room. The box room. My wife was thinking “guest room” but I had other plans. To clear the living room I had to move my wargaming collection to somewhere else. And with no garage in the new house somewhere else meant a bedroom. So the box room has become my wargaming workshop and warehouse.

A portal to wonderland

As you can see from the first photo, it isn’t very big. 2.51m x 2.49m.

Portal to the Man Cave

Portal to the Man Cave

Painting on a chair, not a bar stool

The centre piece is a little painting desk under the window. It has a chair! You might not be impressed by this as I am. But, after 9 years of painting on a bar stool at the kitchen bench, a chair is a luxury. Truly a gift from the gods.

Painting Table

Painting Table

Stuff, lots of stuff, enough stuff to weird out the visitors

I have floor to ceiling stuff on the four walls – aided by some industrial metal shelving I got some years ago for £5. Some of our guests are surprised by how much wargaming stuff I have. Some of them are just weirded out by the fact I wargame at all; “You’re kidding me” was the response of a work colleague who visited last week.

Actually, truth to tell, my wife was also surprised by my wargaming collection. She never ventured out to the garage of the flat so never knew how many boxes I’d accumulated.

To the left of the painting desk are shelves containing my 12 custom made wargaming storage boxes. And my two Figures in Comfort bags with my tanks.

Custom Made Wargaming Boxes

Custom Made Wargaming Boxes

Most of the room is filled with Really Useful Boxes of various sizes. Painted terrain, completed armies, wargaming projects in mid flight, unpainted figures, board games, everything goes into a Really Useful Box. Then there are some rule book and my tool box.

Tons of Really Useful Boxes

Tons of Really Useful Boxes

More Really useful Boxes

More Really useful Boxes

The Wargaming Boards

It is a cool little man cave. But too small for a game. I currently plan to borrow the playroom to play in. My older daughter is cool with this as long as I don’t leave my stuff set up and prevent the real owners from doing their thing. Should be fine given my current infrequent gaming.

So, in between games, my wargaming boards are stacked next to the painting table. In an easy access, quick draw position. The spray painted cardboard sheets are what I use under my figures when I undercoat in black.

Stacked Wargaming Boards

Stacked Wargaming Boards

The semi-magical anti-children barrier

And, of course, a man needs protection from predators. In my case from small children.

Child proof barrier

Child proof barrier

Panorama of a tiny room

I tried a couple of panorama shots as well …

Panorama Left

Panorama Left

Panorama Right

Panorama Right

11 comments to My New Man Cave and Wargaming Storeroom

  • Dick Bryant

    Congrats! Is there room to build a garage later? Or lift the house and put in a basement. Wargamers must think BIG!
    Dick Bryant

    • Steven Thomas

      There is active discussion of a garden shed. Although “shed” does not really convey the full vision … multiple rooms, including a wargaming room with all my stuff + a set up 8’x4′ table, bathroom and kitchen. Big enough I suspect. But not this year given house purchase.

      • Dick Bryant

        Good luck with the “Shed” dream. You can enjoy the planning of it as you would planning a new gaming period. I would go for an 8′ x 5′ table or an 8′ x 6′ if you can. You could put in 1′ drop leaves on each side for normal access. As I said before, think BIG>
        Dick Bryant

        • Steven Thomas

          The wargaming room would be for every day use. For the really big games I’ll use the living room. The (desired) dining room table is 11’x4′ and I have some additional tables that add to that considerably. But it has been a good 10 years since I played a really big game. For the last few years I’m concentrating more on 4’x4′ games. Far more pragmatic for a busy life.

  • Richard

    Congratulations on the expansion of your wargaming environment. I’ve had a room like this for twenty years. It’s a little larger but the gaming stuff shares the space with CDs, books, computer stuff and musical instruments. It began as a fairly airy room but has gradually expanded inwards like Schwitters Merzbau so there is now only a narrow corridor down the middle!

    In theory I’m trying to compact what I have to maximise use of the space, but every time I add more storage boxes in an attempt to rationalise the system I seem to end up with less space!

    • Steven Thomas

      I’ve put that other stuff in other areas. My CDs are in boxes in storage – have been for years. Digital rules in our house. Books are downstairs in the library section of the living space or in the office. Computer stuff = my laptop, which travels around the house with me. And to work. And, if I get my way, the musical instruments will also be in the living space. The whole point of music, to me anyway, is to be easily available.

      Your description of your room expanding inwards aptly describes what happened to my old garage. It went from empty to full over 10 years. Given I intend to be in this house until they carry me out, and I won’t be getting more rooms inside the house, I’ll have to be a little more disciplined now. Yeah, I know, “fat chance” you say.

      I also believe that more boxes = more space. However, that (flawed) logic explains what happened to my garage. In fact more boxes just means more boxes. 😉

  • Richard (doctorphalanx)

    Ha. Well I also digitised all my CDs and access them via SqueezeBox devices but I’ve never had time to check or correct the metadata. Most of them are also crated in the loft (along with hundreds of books I must try to sell sometime) but I like to keep my current interests in physical reach.

    I agree about musical instruments but on the other hand it is probably best to keep them in their cases. Occupying the sitting room with them is beyond my negotiating skills!

    I also moved to a laptop, partly to give me more desk (i. e. painting) space but I still have to accommodate an A3 printer. Being wireless I could put it somewhere else if there was a somewhere else.

    Space is scarce but my time seems even more scarce…

    • Steven Thomas

      re negotiating having instruments in the living room.
      Cough, well, um, yes. I understand the challenge. This particular challenge is something I have been avoiding but it isn’t far away.

      Re A3 printer
      Ah, now that is a good idea. it really is essential for any well equipped gaming household. I will investigate. Luckily we’ve already agreed that the printer (whatever the size) goes in my wife’s study. 🙂

      re time and space
      Agreed. Where does the time go?

  • Richard (doctorphalanx)

    The A3 printer has been useful for gaming maps and posters for the club to use at shows. It’s an Epsom WorkForce WF-7610. There are probably printers with higher quality output but it seemed good value.

  • I notice the child proof barrier has a child’s drawing on the wall behind it. It seems your defences are porous.

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